The Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council unanimously voted to hire additional police officers to the department during a public meeting on Tuesday, July 16.
“We are down to 91 police officers and in the budget we had planned for the hiring of five replacement officers at the probationary level,” said Township Business Administrator Jasmine Lim.
The administration has already hired three probationary officers, one of which has eight years of experience with another police department.
A probationary officer has to attend the police academy for six months and then train for an additional six months, according to Councilman Michael DePierro.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Chief of Police Paul Philipps and the administration requested to hire the officer with eight years experience for an annual salary of around $51,000.
According to Lim, the Morris County Sheriff's Office will be letting go of several sheriff's officers, which will give the township the opportunity to hire seasoned officers.
“This allows us to get police officers on the street immediately,” said Lim. “We believe 91 uniformed police officers are too low and we are expecting more retirements by the end of the year.”
By ordinance, the Police Department is authorized to have a 113-man police force, which is also the number recommended by the state, said DePierro.
“Unless we start hiring back some of these we are going to be in drastic conditions,” he said.
Two retired high-salaried police officers were mistakenly carried over from the 2012 to the 2013 budget, leaving room for an additional hire.
This mistake will allow the administration to hire a second school resource officer, as per an agreement with the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education.
“If we assigned a second (School
Resource Officer), that would take a police officer off the streets,”
said Lim. “So we would like to use that slot for a sixth new hire.”
Although the administration did not
technically need to put the new hires to a vote, since the money was in
the budget, they wanted to ask for the council's approval, said Lim.
Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr., Council
Vice President Vincent Ferrara, Councilman Jonathan Nelson and
Councilman DePierro all consented to the new hires. Council President
Brian Stanton removed himself from the room prior to the discussion
because of a conflict of interest.